If you’re currently stuck indoors and occupying your home then you really need to check out this new Netflix Thriller: The Occupant.
The Occupant has just dropped on the platform today and as soon as I saw that Mario Casas was starring in it I had to check it out.
He was part of the cast in one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen called The Invisible Guest which you should definitely check out if you haven’t.
Similar to that movie The Occupant is full of twists and turns and throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down everything you need to know about the movie and it’s ending.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
The Occupant Plot Recap
The Occupant is a Spanish movie that is titled Hogar in its native language. This roughly translates to Home and the movie is pretty much laced with the question of what truly makes one.
Is it the bricks and mortar that create the environment that the occupiers live in or the occupiers themselves? Is it the symbol of status that it provides and can we truly ever keep our home due to time, passing on and the circle of life?
It’s something that The Occupant poses to audiences and though the protagonist falls towards the more material aspect, it does leave the audience to ask ourselves what really matters.
We follow Javier Muñoz a once a successful marketing executive that is long past his prime.
The Life You Deserve
The movie opens with him interviewing for a job and showcasing his best work, an advertisement on a home with the strapline ‘The Life You Deserve.’ Similar to the advertisement itself, Javier was once highly regarded and loved by many. However, as with all things, time has made him lose his shine.
In Javier’s mind, he deserves a life where he is at the top of the game and living comfortably. In contrast to this, he struggles even gaining entry-level jobs due to prejudices and feels like the world has wronged him in some ways.
I think it really comments on society and how we treat and view the elderly. In light of the current crisis going on many people are questioning whether the economy is worth more than our more senior members of society’s lives and it feels like we failed them in some ways by even questioning this.
They paved the way, stabilized civilization and now that they are viewed as having no use they get cast to the side. It’s something that the movie grapples with and it does show how we may all be doomed to fall into this one day if we don’t change how things work.
The Occupant Story Breakdown
After a year of unemployment, Javier can no longer afford his home and thus he and his family are forced to leave it. They move into a dilapidated shabby apartment where the taps drip and I’ll get into the meaning behind this later. It starts off a chain of events that have major consequences and the movie centers around Javier trying to win back the life he views himself as deserving.
One day he discovers that he still has a set of keys to his old house and he begins stalking the new family that has moved in there. Slowly he tries to get closer to them in any way that he can and they become his obsession.
The film is very much about trying to regain the things that one has lost and for Javier, this represents a number of things from the property to the youth that the family has.
They are pretty much the younger, happier versions of his own family in many ways and both of the families of three mirror each other in many ways
I’m sure one day we will all be in a position where we look at people who are in positions that we once were with envy. It becomes easy to sympathize with Javier’s jealousy and it often feels like time is slipping away like sand in our hands. The stronger we try to hold onto it, the faster it slips away and we watch as Javier slowly becomes more and more desperate.
The Meaning Of Advertising
Now one of the most interesting aspects of the film that truly speaks to Javier’s personality is his career which is based in advertising. Because Javier lived so long in the world of selling dreams, he has an idealized view of the world. Advertisements and commercials are created in such a way that they make us always want more and more. Their purpose is to push the narrative that the grass is always greener and what we have isn’t enough.
This is how they work.
Because of this living in this world for so long, Javier is unable to appreciate what he truly has. He has a son and wife that are both willing to do whatever they can to please him but he views them as not being good enough.
He hates that his son is obese and views the other family as having a child that is fit and active. He views Tomas, the father of the family being more successful than he is and the movie truly speaks to how most people have become.
The True Meaning Of The Movie
We live in a world where we only put out the perfect versions of ourselves on social media and in the things we own and thus it becomes easy to compare and believe that we aren’t good enough. Javier is obsessed with materials and even though he can’t afford it he refuses to sell his BMW at several points due to the image that it portrays to the world of success.
This is of course mirrored in our online life in which many of us try to appear like we are constantly winning in order to keep up with others who appear the same way.
Even though we know that it is all fake on our end and theirs we still fall victim to it and it’s such an interesting character study that makes this a brilliant watch.
He unearths Tomas was an alcoholic that almost caused a fatal crash with his family after drunk driving. Tomas attends AA meetings and this is where Javier sparks up a friendship with him.
The Difference Between Javier And Tomas
Now there are two key differences between the character here that indicate why one is happy and why the other isn’t. Tomas nearly lost his family and thus he will do whatever he can to hold onto them as tight as he can. He is really working for it even if it doesn’t always work, however, Javier will do whatever he can to get his old life back even if it means losing his family.
He refuses to give up the status that he once had whilst Tomas will constantly try over and over to give up his obsession with alcohol in order to hold onto the things that are dearest to him. Both want to change though and prove that they are better than others think they are and thus they find some kinship in their stories.
Even when Tomas tells Javier that things aren’t all sunshine and roses he still ignores it because he has this core aspect built into his mind that there is this idealized version of life.
Tomas has a job that he gained through his father in law being a successful company owner and similar to Javier he wishes to be at the top.
However, Javier doesn’t want to just take Tomas’ belongings, he wants to be him and what he represents and unlike him, he will go to machiavellian ends to do it.
Symbols Of Status
He views the apartment as making him above all and there’s actually imagery that I found almost signifying that he viewed himself as God-like, looking over all, even controlling life and death. This shot is later reversed with him hiding behind a tree, having to be obscured whereas up top he is able to proudly look everything.
I dunno if I’m reading too much into that but yeah it’s just something I thought whilst watching.
Javier crashes his car to uses the opportunity to send himself an email from Tomas phone that he can use to frame him later. He too is made to carry out perverted things by a janitor that recognised him and Tomas’ wife begins to suspect him of falling back into old habits.
She calls Javier to tell her to stay away from him but he brings up the email and things slowly become more and more twisted.
Javier begins gaslighting Tomas and confronts him at work in order to get him to lash out. He too kills the custodian of the property by rigging his leafblower.
The Occupant Ending
With the bruises on his face, he returns to Tomas’ wife Lara and makes her believe he’s dangerous. Javier gives her a pepper spray can that he has laced with peanuts which the character is allergic to. He leaves his wife and slowly Javier starts to put the pieces in place for his endgame which is to supplant Tomas. He manipulates him into returning to the apartment and she sprays him with the pepper spray can which shuts his body down.
Javier returns to the apartment to cover up the crime and he says to Tomas that he doesn’t deserve them before suffocating him which of course ties into the tagline of the life you deserve.
In the end, Javier gains a job that he was initially supposed to be an intern for earlier in the movie and because of his new connection to Lara and her father’s company.
They have a pitch that will seal a multi-million advertising deal for them and just as he is about to pitch it, Javier’s ex-wife turns up asking for the truth. She’s pieced it all together including the peanut allergy and has seen that he used to own their home.
She states that she will tell the police and he will end up in a cell that makes their current home which he despised seem like a mansion. Javier calls her bluff and says the he will use his sons trust fund and their home in hiring a lawyer to defend him.
Javier’s wife Marga says no and in the end doesn’t do it and it really shows the dichotomy of the two characters. Javier would risk everything he can to gain a house, property and status whereas Marga will do whatever she can to make sure their child is ok which Javier doesn’t really seem to care about.
The Occupant Ending Explained
The movie ends with him in a giant home with his wife and new family. The entire property is pristine and it truly seems like he has achieved it all, however the tap starts to drip, similar to his run-down apartment and this symbolizes that he will not find happiness here because he has placed value into material instead of people.
He didn’t care about putting his son at risk because all he has wanted is status but in the long run, this is a hollow thing that will not make him happy.
The house itself in the final shots though expansive, seems completely empty and devoid of life, similar to how Javier will soon feel because he tossed everything away in order to climb back up the social ladder.
Javier in his life has already been at the top of this and he has seen how easily it can all be taken away, thus it is unlikely that it will remain for him here. Javier is now back into the same circumstances that caused his downfall however he has a son and ex-wife that hate and despise him.
They truly loved him and once the shell that he has created for Lara starts to fade away and his true face is revealed I can’t see it lasting long.
It’s a brilliant message that tells us to appreciate what we have and that the grass isn’t always greener. Everything has it’s faults and there is no real joy in material items.
Javier mistakingly believed this and thus it has lead to his downfall.
The Occupant Review
Ok so what did I think of the film?
Well, overall The Occupant is an astonishing film and I’m so glad that Netflix are dropping some big movies at the moment. Alongside with The Platform, both are truly astounding and I absolutely adored both.
The Occupant is definitely one to watch right now as it’s perfectly crafted, acted and it carries a strong message that I think works on a lot of levels.
I really enjoyed it and highly recommend the movie and that’s why it gets a…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Occupant and what you took from it. Comment below and let me know.